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“Amazing Place”

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Turneffe Island Resort
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Certificate of Excellence
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
30 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Amazing Place”
Reviewed 17 April 2011

I could go on for pages but in a nutshell, this place is outstanding in every category. My wife and I fly fish all over for trout....this was our first saltwater experience. A couple who owns a fly shop in Arizona recommended Turneffe Flats, but after some additional research we decided to come here. What a great decision. My wife and I also wanted to snorkel, and also come back to the lodge for lunch (instead of eating on the boat). TIR was totally flexible to whatever we wanted to do while my questions to the Turneff Flats booking agent indicated a lack of flexibility if you purchased the fishing package. Everybody who was fishing caught Permit, Bonefish and Tarpon and a couple of guys got all three in one day (Grand Slam). The day starts with a pot of coffee delivered to your cabana and placed just outside the door (its there when you wake up and still hot). The entire staff from the managers, to kitchen, to guides all act like you are the only client they have had for the entire year. The owners recently hired Nick and Vanda as resort managers and they are first class fun to be around, 100% professional and respectful, and they will do ANYTHING to make your stay 5 Star. The cabanas and rooms are mahogany and not only clean as a whistle, but cleaned every day. You will meet life long friends while there. The family dining arrangement allows you to meet everybody and share stories. I did not meet one person who did not feel the same way about this resort as we did. DIVERS: All of the divers thought the dives were phenomenal and there were 3 dives a day! You may contact me at any time if you have some specific questions. The negatives? I think the worst part was having to leave! As Arnold says "I'll be back!"

Room Tip: I did not see a bad room there !
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  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Muscrat442
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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381 reviews from our community

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English first
Highland Mills, New York
Level Contributor
22 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 April 2011

I was in Turneffe Island Resort during hurricane Richard in Oct 2010.We arrived on Saturday the day before it hit . The resort did not take us to the island because of its imminent arrival. We were put up in a hotel on the mainland.It hit Sun night and we didnt get to the resort until Tues. We lost 3 days of lodging, meals and diving. The resort refused to pay our expenses citing their recommendation to have travel insurance. In fact a group from Peter Hughes livaboard that stayed in the hotel did have their bill paid for. I waited til now to post because I was waiting for a refund from Trip Insured . Until now between the resort and the Insurance co I felt like I was in a ping pong game. Each blamed the other for not compling with info request which held up payment of claim.
The island resort and management were not the problem. The main office in Houston Texas were the ones who set the policy. Not paying for our extra expenses netted them 100% profit. The insurance co, refunded the lost services totaling $1200. However It cost $800 in room and board for the 3 days which they did not cover. The insurance policy cost was $300. Do the math, I saved $100. Admitidly I would have lost the entire $1200. without insurance. Because of their policy of keeping payment for services they did not provide I would not go back or recommenend this resort especially during hurricane season.

  • Stayed October 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
5 Thank RichieG29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Milwaukee
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 April 2011

Stayed at Turneffe Island with my son and his girlfriend. I wore no shoes, not even flip-flops, all week. A wonderful place; would recommend to friends. Nice size -- about 30 guests when we were there, although its capacity, I think, is in the 40s. Very friendly professional staff, good diving, truly outstanding food, and plenty of it -- served family-style at big tables, so everyone gets to know each other. Really nice, interesting group of people. Very good diving and a very professional dive staff. Dove the famous Blue Hole, which is pretty close by -- one of my least favorite dives of the trip. Very dark and murky, and not much to see. Three Amigos was my favorite dive, although there are plenty of good ones. The resort is very secluded -- it's the only thing on the island, and it's an hour and a half boat ride from Belize City. You are largely unplugged here -- no cell phone service, no wi-fi, no TV, no radio. There is a phone and internet in the office if you need, but they're expensive. If you want to get away from it all in a relaxing, secluded, informal, barefoot environment with great people and diving, this is the place.

Stayed March 2011, travelled with family
Helpful?
Thank eecumings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
139 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 112 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 April 2011

We booked very late due to the cancellation of a trip to The Caymans and were encouraged to book this resort due to the multiple, fabulous reviews posted on this site.
Thank you to all of those who posted as we are very gratefull:this, by far, was the most relaxing scuba diving holiday we have ever had. We thoroughly enjoyed the diving, the opportunity to dine and mix with our fellow vacationers at dinner and also being able to retire to the peace and tranquility of our cabana.

The island is very small so if you would like a vacation that offers evening entertainment and restaurants, this is not the resort for you. However, if you like to meet and mingle with scuba divers of various nationalities, enthusiastic snorkellers and dediated fishermen/women, then book immediately! It was thoroughly delightful to be able to exchange tales about our various sealife encounters and everyone's individual experiences contributed to the bubbly atmosphere at meal times. We enjoyed the food and the chef was very kind and accomodating when dietary restrictions meant she had to cook alternative options to the scheduled menu.

I don't want to repeat previous reviews so would like to offer the following observations and recommendations:

1. Divers, please, I beg you, make sure that you have DAN insurance before booking this holiday.

2. If you have a medical condition that could require emergency treatment, consider whether or not staying on a remote, isolated island is the best dive location for you?

It takes one hour for a helicopter to reach the resort and it is not a "medivac" helicopter. Whilst wating for the helicopter, you will be given Diver First Aid and Oxygen, but there is no medical facility on the island and none of the dive masters or resort staff are Doctors or paramedics. We had a diver experience a serious medical emergency and the helicopter was called immediately. However, it took one hour to get to us.The nearest decompression chamber is then a further 15 minute helicopter flight away.
The resort staff have procedures and protocols in place for medical emergencies and these worked well but you, the diver, must understand that this is a difficult location for emergency crews to get to. Don't take any risks with your health.
We were impressed with the ability of the resort management and staff to recognise a diver emergency, the need to call a helicopter immediately (prior to calling DAN) and the need to obtain advice from DAN after the helicopter was on its way. I am ex- Royal Air Force, a dental hygienist and a Rescue Diver and have provided primary emergency first aid on previous occasions, but I cannot tell you how distressed I was whilst waiting for that never-ending hour for the helicopter to get to the island. Again, I ask, please don't take any risks.
As far as we are aware, the diver had no pre-existing medical conditions and none of us observed any irregularites when the diver was diving in our group of (nine) divers.

2. Bring ear plugs if you choose to run the air conditioning at night. Alternatively, open the front and back door to the room/cabana and a sea breeze will keep you cool at night. All rooms and cabanas are fully screened from mosquitos.

3. There is no wind surfing equipment at the resort (despite the literature and advertising) The resort was so amazing that this minor disappointment failed to dampen our enjoyment of our time there.

4. Be prepared to scuba dive and snorkel with dolphins! Each of the two groups had pods join us on dives and it was an exhilerating and unforgetable experience.

5. You will see reef sharks, southern sting rays, eagle rays, many large turtles, permits and tarpons....and numerous small critters.

Enjoy! You'll have a wonderful vacation.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Fyski
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
princeton
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 April 2011

My partner and I spent our March break at TIR this year (I am a college professor ...) and it was lovely experience. Belize City itself is rather underwhelming. But then the fun began -- excellent boat transfer way out to their island, away from the crowds on the other cayes. The island itself is really nicely planned, designed, equipped and staffed. The managers, waitstaff, and dive masters were really friendly and provided exceptional service. It was good to see that the management is integrating local Belizeans into the dive master/junior management ranks. Our private cabana was first class -- gorgeous woodwork, spacious, nicely furnished, very clean bathroom and an outdoor shower in the back that was also spotless and well maintained. Plenty of hot water too, which has been rare on other Caribbean dive trips. The view from our private porch could not be beat, and the staff regularly raked the sand and rearranged ample lounge seating in private little nooks. Meals are served in a single seating, and the food was particularly tasty, healthy, and had some local touches. We were, unfortunately, booked during one of their busiest weeks. There were about 20 of us who came in 2s and 4s, and we were looking for a quiet get-away type trip, with a premium on the snorkeling and diving. But there was another party there as well, a huge extended family group who came to fish, dive, drink, and make a lot of noise. For the most part, this was not that big of a deal, but meals would have been impossible if the management had not split the seatings so that the numerous and rather moderately disciplined kids could eat dinner on their own at 6 pm ; breakfast and lunch sometimes felt like a cattle call, though. We avoided the bar and pool, which were completely taken over by this other crew, which was a pity as they looked great. If you can, avoid peak travel times and you will enjoy this resort all the more. Now for the diving and snorkeling -- one of the best Caribbean trips we have taken (compared to St. Croix, British Virgins, Puerto Rico, Saba, and Roatan ...) The reefs that were about 20 min small boat ride from the dock ranged from very good to quite beautiful. Before this trip, I would have put Saba at the top of the above list for diving. So in comparison to Saba, the only negatives are: smaller grouper and fewer sharks. Otherwise, fairly good medium to small size fish: tarpon, permit, yellow-tail snapper, barracuda, black groupers, angelfish, hogfish, grunts, wrasses, parrotfish, squirrelfish, sargeant majors, butterfly fish, tangs, and so on were present on virtually every dive. Less common, but there if you looked, and got lucky, were the unique Belizean toadfish (ugly but nice to see !), boxfish, cowfish, drumfish, porcupinefish, jawfish , trumpetfish, scorpionfish, peacock flounder, triggerfish, and so on. Nice green moray eels, a few spotted; a few hawksbill turtle, and one shy green turtle; a few rays -- southern sting, and spotted; lobsters, crabs, and shrimp. The coral was in fairly good shape, a little silted-in at a couple of spots, but fairly pristine and no trash, no fishing garbage. On the night dive, also saw an octopus. The high point was the day trip to the Blue Hole/Half Moon Caye -- swam through the famous stalactites and then we were treated to a swim-by on the part of 3 reef sharks. The reefs by Half Moon Caye are the best of the bunch. Do not miss the lunch stop at the island park itself, where the red-footed boobies will bring oohs and aahs from serious birders and amateurs alike. Our diving platforms varied from the big boats on the day trip out to the Blue Hole to small launches, and even with the resort being at full capacity, they split us up very nicely, so we were diving in groups of 8 or so. The dive master was wonderful, very knowledgeable, a local diving veteran, who knew where every extraordinary critter could be found and yet ran a tight operation. I brought my own gear, but the rental stuff that I saw looked new-ish and high quality. A special plus -- my partner snorkels, and instead of just allowing the snorkelers to plop into the water as an afterthought, they actually organized custom snorkeling tours, complete with their own boat, captain, and guide. And they saw almost as much stuff as we did ! All round, a great trip, we'd definitely go back.

Room Tip: Reserve really early for busy weeks!
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  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank meegwie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Huntington, ny
2 reviews
Reviewed 23 March 2011

I travelled with my wife and a 5 year old son. The snorkeling was great, food was equally good and the attentiveness of the staff was welcomemming. Especially when the kitchen staff started bringing out specially cooked food every might for my wife who is a vegetarian..
Had lots of fun conversing with different people from all parts of the US.

I highly recommend it for divers, and snorklers. Good island getaway...

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank nicksgmen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviewed 15 March 2011

The place is just amazing. Stunning sunrises we could actually see from our bed when we opend the doors to get our monring coffee they delivered to our room each day.

The food was great, and more than you could eat. Make sure to save room for dessert, they were fresh, unique and more than worth the calories.

The staff was just great. They all went out of thier way to make sure all the guest were happy. They were able to change plans to accomidate the needs of the guests.

Great variety of dive sites, and the coral and sponges are the best anywhere.

Great trip, and we are very much looking forward to going back.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank tom10980
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Turneffe Island Resort

Property: Turneffe Island Resort
Address: Turneffe Atoll, Turneffe Island, Belize
Phone Number:
Region: Belize > Belize Cayes > Turneffe Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Turneffe Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Turneffe Island Resort 3.5*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Turneffe Island Resort is a secluded 14-acre private island located 35 miles off the coast of Belize. We offer 7 night, 4-night, and 3-night Diving, Fishing and Resort packages. Packages include airport transfers, deluxe lodge accommodations, scheduled activities, all meals and hors d’oeuvres served throughout the day. All accommodations are located on white sandy beaches. All rooms include indoor and outdoor showers and spectacular ocean views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Turneffe Island Hotel Turneffe Islands
Turneffe Island Lodge

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